Fianna Fáil Councillor John Paul Feeley and Chairperson of the Economic SPC of Cavan County Council has reacted with disappointment to the announcement of only € 146,000 for projects in County Cavan under the Rural Regeneration and Development Fund (RRDF) announced Thursday 14th February 2019.
‘Cavan County Council had put forward comprehensive applications for Virginia, Cootehill, Ballyjamesduff and Kingscourt, plans carefully developed in conjunction with local councillors, community groups and local businesses. These plans were done in line with the Local Economic and Community Plan approved by the County Council and the Local Community Development Committee. In response to all of that Minister Ring provided a total allocation of € 146,000 for County Cavan of € 62 million nationally announced to much hype by the Minister along with Minister Humphrey and Minister of State Canney. To say that I am underwhelmed by this announcement is an understatement. It is a very poor allocation. It puts the plans of the Council to start the regeneration of some of our towns back and also delays the plans for the other towns throughout the Cavan which we as a local authority had intended to progress in coming years.’
‘Amongst the most progressive plans was that to develop an extension to the Ramor Theatre, a new library, car park and amenity for the Town. The funding available to date will not complete this exciting project.’
“ I am hugely disappointed for the towns involved and the other towns and villages which should be included in years to come. I am disappointed for the Council officials who have put so much effort into these plans and most especially I am disappointed for the volunteers in these towns who helped craft these applications and who take up the challenge of community economic and social development on a daily basis. This accountment is an insult to them.’
Concluding, Councillor Feeley pointed out that he had asked the Fine Gael members of the Council to organise a cross party delegation along with officials from the County Council to meet Minster Ring in advance of he and his Department making a decision on this announcement but that meeting never took place.
‘Despite having a Minister, Senator and seven County Councillors in the Government Party, it seems County Cavan has little influence in the corridors of power at present.’
Fianna Fail Councillor, John Paul Feeley has joined calls for the Government to intervene as a matter of urgency to end the nurses strike so that the nurses can get back to do the work that they want to do and the people who have long-awaited appointments or who need to access the health system can do so.
‘We are facing into the second day of industrial action by the Irish Nurses & Midwifes Association (INMO). That is absolutely the right of that Union and its members and I can see the very strong case that they have for changes to their work conditions and the urgent need to recruit more nurses and bring about a proper pay and career structure for the nursing profession.’
Some weeks ago the Dáil passed a motion calling for the establishment of a Commission on Nursing and Midwifery to examine the wider issues facing the nursing profession to be chaired independently and bring forward detailed proposals for the future but the Government has not moved to establish this Commission.
‘The reality is that this, like every other industrial dispute will be resolved. It is a matter of time. Our already under-resourced and creaking health system cannot cope with the existing industrial action never mind what will happen with its escalation. The Taoiseach and the Minister for Health, the two great media darlings of Ireland seem to have an answer for everything seem bereft when it comes to the Nurses Strike. It is time for an urgent and comprehensive engagement by both of them on the part of the Government.’
Councillor Feeley confirmed that he has tabled a motion for the next meeting of Cavan County Council calling on the Taoiseach to intervene to resolve the current industrial dispute.
5th February 2019
Fianna Fail Councillor, John Paul Feeley today (Wednesday 30th January 2019) attended a protest at Leinster House organised by the Save Leitrim Campaign to highlight the negative impact of virtually unregulated afforestation in Counties Cavan and Leitrim and elsewhere in the North-West.
‘The Save Leitrim Campaign are highlighting issues that are having a serious effect in County Cavan and elsewhere. Forrestry has a role in the rural economy but what is happening now is not acceptable. There is not a level playing field in terms of the vast financial supports for those who plant land rather than active farming of land. Huge grants, tax free income and virtually no planning controls are in sharp contrast to the limited supports, high stamp duty payable on the purchase of lands and tight planning and environmental controls on farmers trying to expand their holding, improve their lands on provide themselves with a family home.’
Councillor Feeley has over the years raised the need for more planning restrictions on forrestry to ensure that would bring the planting of land under the Planning and Development Act.
‘Currently an application is made to the Department of Agriculture. A person can make an objection but unlike planning there are no notices in local papers and it is difficult to search for such applications. Bringing the regulation of forrestry under the local authority would provide greater transparency and accessibility for local residents to have their say, whilst the decisions would be made by officials at local level, familiar with the areas involved and more conscious of broader needs in a locality.’
Councillor Feeley noted that the Government had announced a review of forestry in County Leitrim. He called for this to take in areas in County Cavan and the wider North West and that a moratorium be imposed on the planting of silka spruce and mon-culture forests until such time as a new regulatory framework.
“I am delighted that Fianna Fail Agriculture Spokesperson, Deputy Charlie McConalogue has met Deputy Brendan Smith, myself and a number of people living in West Cavan to hear our concerns about the current forestry programme.’
Fianna Fáil Councillor, John Paul Feeley has warmly welcomed the allocation of € 200,000 towards the provision of a Greenway in Cavan Town under the Out-Door Recreation Infrastructure Scheme (ORIS) 2018.
‘This investment will provide a valuable amenity for the people of Cavan Town opening up part of the old railway line as a safe space for walking and cycling. It will create a new approach to the Town and will link the centre of the Town to Cavan General Hospital, Loretto College, St Patrick’s College and Cavan Institute.’
In recent years significant investment by Cavan County Council under the Road Works Programme, the Smarter Travel Initiative and other funding programmes have made major improvements from the centre of Cavan out the Cathedral and Cootehill Roads replacing footpaths and lighting and to install cycle lanes and pedestrian crossings. This latest investment will complete a link using this existing infrastructure between three of the four post-primary schools around Cavan Town, the Cavan Institute and Cavan General Hospital.
‘There have been major concerns in the Carrickane area of Cavan over recent years about the condition of Loretto Road and the safety of all road users. After much sustained lobbying on my part and that of Brendan Smith TD and the efforts of the Council Staff over a phased period much of the road has been upgraded with public lighting and footpaths has been installed. The Roads Programme for 2019 will see another section of the road towards Golf Links Road will be completed and plans are in place to widen the bridge at Loretto Road.’
‘My objective and that of my colleague, Brendan Smith TD is to complete the upgrade of the Loretto Road to link the lighting and footpaths back to those on Golf Links Road with a further link to Farnham NS. Cavan County Council have provided on a rolling basis funding but these links can only be completed with the full-cooperation of all land owners. I hope that that will be forthcoming so that the safety of all road users, especially the children attending Farnham NS and accessing Cavan General Hospital can do so safely and on roads of the highest standard.’
John Paul Feeley County Councillor Stranamorth Blacklion Co. Cavan
Tel. (087) 6989304 Sent from my iPad